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Urban Clouds

👉 Issue #64 of QX Snapshots is out!




Welcome to QX Snapshots - a weekly recap of the key news on emerging technologies. In this newsletter, you will get a "digest" of the latest info on Enterprise Blockchain, AI, Quantum Technology, and Metaverse. Hope it brings you value :)


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Every Friday we share key snapshot news on AI, Quantum Technologies, Metaverse, and Enterprise Blockchain/DLT.


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[Blockchain] Securitize Raises $47 Million in BlackRock-Led Round; Tokyo Subsidies Digital Securities Issuance; Prometeum Capital and Broadbridge Partnership. Securitize has completed a $47 million funding round led by BlackRock, with participation from Hamilton Lane, ParaFi Capital, Tradeweb Markets, and others. The investment highlights Securitize's efforts in digitizing capital markets using blockchain technology. BlackRock's Joseph Chalom has been appointed to Securitize's Board of Directors. The funding coincides with the launch of BlackRock's first tokenized fund on Ethereum, the BlackRock USD Institutional Digital Liquidity Fund (BUIDL). Meanwhile, the Office for Startup and Global Financial City Strategy of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government is offering subsidies to businesses issuing digital securities. The subsidy rate is 1/2 (2/3 for startups), with an upper limit of 5 million yen per project (7.5 million yen for priority fields). Applications are accepted from April 30, 2026, to January 31, 2027, and screening is conducted every 1-2 months. The FAQ section addresses questions about eligible projects, recipients, priority areas, and expenses. The subsidy aims to expand the market for digital securities and accelerate the flow from savings to investment. Also, the Tokenizer has released its ‘2024 Who's Who Guide’ providing a comprehensive overview of the rapidly growing asset tokenization industry. The guide lists key players in various categories, including exchanges, issuance platforms, custodians, law firms, and service providers.  And, Prometheum Capital has partnered with Broadridge Financial Solutions to strengthen its post-trade lifecycle and back-office operations as it prepares to launch custody, clearing, and settlement services for digital asset securities. Prometheum will utilize Broadridge's Shadow Post Trade Processing Solution and Business Process Outsourcing solutions for bookkeeping, trade capture, reconciliations, regulatory reporting, and more. The collaboration marks a milestone for Prometheum, enabling the firm to advance its mission of establishing sophisticated, regulated market infrastructure for the investing community. The partnership follows Prometheum's recent appointment of a new CFO and plans to provide ETH custodial services.


[AI] Sanctuary AI and Microsoft Collaboration on Humanoid Robot AI; Reka Unveils Advanced Evaluation Suite for Multimodal Models; Publishers' Lawsuit Against Microsoft and OpenAI. Sanctuary AI and Microsoft are collaborating to develop AI models for general-purpose humanoid robots, including Sanctuary AI's Phoenix™. The partnership aims to accelerate AI research and development, with Sanctuary AI leveraging Microsoft's Azure cloud resources for their AI workloads. Sanctuary AI is working on "Large Behavior Models" (LBMs) to enable robots to understand and learn from real-world experiences, utilizing their AI control system, Carbon™. The collaboration builds on previous work between the companies, with Sanctuary AI bringing deep technical expertise from its leadership team. The partnership focuses on advancing embodied AI research in areas like reasoning, planning, and human-agent collaboration. Meanwhile, after announcing Reka Core last month, Reka has now released Vibe-Eval, an open evaluation suite for measuring the progress of multimodal language models. The suite consists of 269 ultra high-quality image-text prompts and ground truth responses, designed to be difficult and induce separability among frontier-class models. Reka's AI experts created the prompts, guided by the inability of Reka Core and other frontier models to perform the task. The paper discusses challenges in creating and evaluating hard prompts, and provides benchmark results for representative multimodal language models. Reka Core evaluator, available for free, strongly correlates with human judgment in assessing relative performance across models. Also, eight U.S. newspaper publishers have filed a lawsuit against Microsoft and OpenAI, alleging that the companies used millions of their articles without permission or payment to develop AI models for ChatGPT and other products. The publishers claim that ChatGPT and Microsoft's Copilot chatbot regurgitate information from their articles without directing users to their websites, depriving them of ad revenue and subscription opportunities. OpenAI has since signed deals with some media companies to use their content for AI model training.


[Quantum Technology] PsiQuantum Highest-Funded Independent Quantum Firm;HSBC & PayPal & IBM launch New Working Group; Japan'AIST Selects QuEra Computing. PsiQuantum, a Silicon Valley quantum computing startup with Australian roots, has received a $940 million AUD ($617 million USD) investment from the Australian government to build the world's first commercially viable quantum computer in Brisbane. This investment, part of the "Future Made in Australia" policy, brings PsiQuantum's total funding to nearly $1.3 billion USD, potentially making it the highest-funded independent quantum company globally. PsiQuantum aims to build an error-corrected quantum computer by 2029 using photonics-based technology. Meanwhile, Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) has awarded QuEra Computing a 6.5 billion JPY contract (approx. $41M USD) to deliver a state-of-the-art quantum computer, which will be installed alongside the NVIDIA-powered ABCI-Q supercomputer in Japan. The initiative aims to develop a powerful hybrid quantum-classical computing platform, combining QuEra's unique neutral-atom quantum computing technology with AIST's ABCI-Q supercomputer. QuEra's gate-based neutral-atom quantum computers offer a clear path to large-scale, fault-tolerant computers, and the company leads the neutral-atom market. The ABCI-Q system, powered by NVIDIA GPUs and interconnected by NVIDIA Quantum-2 InfiniBand, is intended to advance quantum circuit simulation, quantum machine learning, and the development of quantum-inspired algorithms. Also, HSBC, PayPal, IBM, and Australian Payments Plus have formed a working group under the Emerging Payments Association Asia (EPAA) to investigate the adoption of quantum-safe cryptography in the payments industry. The group aims to define requirements, identify use cases, and create a roadmap to implement post-quantum networking to mitigate risks associated with future quantum computers. In a related development, European banks, including BBVA, Banco Santander, and BNP Paribas, have joined the Quantum Safe Financial Forum (QSFF) to collaborate on creating new technological systems within the financial industry that are secure and resilient to quantum computing-based attacks.


[Metaverse/Digital Twin] AWS Launches Digital Twin Professional Services; Global Mofy Metaverse to Leverage NVIDIA Omniverse; UK Invests in Digital Twin Centre.  AWS has launched Warehouse Automation and Optimization (WAO), a professional service offering that helps customers design and optimize fulfillment centers using digital twins and advanced simulations. The process involves three phases: Survey and Modelling, Design, and Simulate and Analyze. In the first phase, a LIDAR scanner captures a 3D image of the current layout, which is then converted into a digital twin. The Design phase creates conceptual designs incorporating customer constraints and best-in-class technology. Finally, the Simulate and Analyze phase uses ProModel software to assess the impact of new designs and automation on cost, throughput, labor, equipment, and space. Meanwhile, Global Mofy Metaverse and Heartdub are jointly developing Gausspeed leveraging NVIDIA Omniverse. Gaussped is a generative AI (AIGC) platform for film production and video generation in the digital entertainment sector. The platform simplifies complex workflows, enhances production efficiency, and enables directors and creators to preview prototype designs early in the project. Gausspeed offers an industrial-grade solution for film production, allowing teams to construct virtual scenes, customize characters and objects, and generate high-quality video sequences, streamlining the workflow and driving industry advancement. Also, a UK Digital Twin Centre will open in Northern Ireland with a £37.6m investment from Innovate UK and Belfast Region City Deal. Led by Digital Catapult, the centre will develop use cases demonstrating the potential of digital twin technology in various sectors. It will work with industry partners to encourage the adoption of digital twin technologies at lower costs and provide a collaborative workspace for industry, academia, and the public sector. The centre aims to help businesses reduce design and manufacturing costs, meet net zero targets, and drive global competitive advantage. The investment aligns with Northern Ireland's economic priorities of creating jobs, increasing productivity, and accelerating net zero ambitions. 


[General technology] Tether Invests $200 Million in Blackrock Neurotech, Island Secures $175 Million for Enterprise Browser, and Hubble Network First Bluetooth Connection from Space. Tether, the issuer of one of the world's largest stablecoins USDT, has invested $200 million in Blackrock Neurotech, a U.S. brain-computer interface (BCI) technology developer, taking a majority stake in the company. The investment, which values Blackrock Neurotech at around $350 million, will primarily fund the commercialization and roll-out of its neural implant technology, which allows people to control computers and prosthetic arms without moving. The funds will also be used for research and development. Blackrock Neurotech has no relation to the asset manager BlackRock. Meanwhile, Island, a pioneer in enterprise browsers, has secured $175 million in Series D funding, doubling its valuation to $3 billion. The round was led by Coatue and Sequoia Capital, with additional funding from existing investors. The Island Enterprise Browser offers advanced security, IT controls, data protection, and productivity features, enabling secure access and enhanced productivity across devices and locations. The company has gained significant traction with large and small enterprises across various industries, including Fortune 100 customers. The funding will be used to invest in R&D and customer success globally, as Island aims to redefine the enterprise browser category. Also, Hubble Network has achieved a historic milestone by establishing the first-ever Bluetooth connection between a satellite and Earth, potentially enabling millions of devices to connect globally. The company launched two satellites in March and confirmed receiving signals from onboard Bluetooth chips over 600 kilometers away. This technology can be applied in various industries, such as logistics, cattle tracking, and remote asset monitoring. Hubble, founded in 2021, developed software and a phased array antenna to enable long-range, low-power communication between Bluetooth chips and satellites. The company plans to launch more satellites and have a 36-satellite "production constellation" by early 2026.






👉 𝐌𝐚𝐫𝐤 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐜𝐚𝐥𝐞𝐧𝐝𝐚𝐫: 'Navigating Stablecoins Ratings: Insights from Bluechip's Chief Economist'

𝐃𝐚𝐭𝐞: Tuesday, May 07 2024 - 2pm GMT



Join us for an insightful webinar with Garett Jones, Co-founder and Chief Economist at bluechip.org, the pioneering independent stablecoin rating agency.




As the top five stablecoins are approaching an all-time high with a $150 billion market cap, with almost 100 million holding addresses, it is more crucial than ever to assess the risks associated with these digital assets and understand the significance of stablecoin ratings. With the rapid growth and adoption of stablecoins, investors and other market participants must be equipped with the knowledge and tools to make informed decisions about the stability, transparency, and reliability of the stablecoins they choose to hold or transact with.


We will explore:


➡ Key lessons from economic theory and history that shape Bluechip's approach to stablecoin valuation.

➡ Critical factors that contribute to a stablecoin's long-term stability and success.

➡ How Bluechip's SMIDGE rating framework assesses stablecoins, providing market participants with a clearer picture of their safety and reliability.

➡ Explore the potential of stablecoins in shaping the next wave of financial innovations and inclusion.










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